Sometimes. Sometimes, something hits you. Maybe like you’re walking down a quaint dirt road in the country. The kind with fields of flowers on either side. Lovely, really. And you’re strolling by, looking up at the fluffy white clouds and the birds and then out of nowhere. Boom. You get knocked right over by a herd of cows. It’s not that you hadn’t seen cows before or even these particular cows. They’d been grazing on the flowers right by the road. You saw them from the corner of your eye. But you didn’t expect them to stampede directly over your body. Fuck.
This happened to me today.
Well, sort of. No actual cows ran over me. And it’s not even that I realized something momentous I didn’t know before. Instead, I just thought about something I already knew, had already thought through, written about, pondered, internalized, understood in the context of my life. And then I thought. Oh. So that’s what that means. Right.
It’s just this. I don’t want to rely on someone else.
Yes, that’s not new. Yes, I write about it here all the time. But I thought about it differently today. Really going all in on relying on someone else (counting on them, expecting them to be there for you always, no matter what) is more than just giving up independence, it’s more than just giving up control and being helpless and weak and non-capable (although yes, I know it’s not really any of those things; it only seems to be, to me). It’s asking for your heart to be shattered in a billion pieces so small that you can never find them and put them back together again.
And it’s not that I think that it’s sad that I can’t be vulnerable and close to people, because I think I can. And am. And it’s not that I’m waiting to find just that right someone who can make me believe in trust again or something else from one of those sappy romantic comedies. I don’t think that’s going to happen. I don’t want that to happen. I wouldn’t let that happen. (Why expect so much of people? It’s too much.) And more importantly, I’m happy now.
I was talking to a friend who said that for us to have joyousness, the human experience has to include real engagement, real vulnerability, real moments. I agree. I have those. But I’ve architected my life in such a way to have them without blind and absolute reliance. Or as another friend said, she optimizes for genuine moments.
So, I’m faced with this new realization, but I don’t know what (if anything) to do with it. I think, actually, that I’m happy about how I’ve built my life. With meaningful connections but without setting up those connections in ways they can let me down. And break me.
And even that sounds like a Taylor Swift song. Or maybe Paramour, swearing to myself that I’m content with loneliness. But that’s not it at all. I’m not lonely. I’m just content.